Santa and his helpers need a cookie break when they arrive at your house with presents! Try these 15 dietitian-approved Christmas cookie recipes and make sure Santa always comes down the chimney at your house.
It’s That Time of Year
I’ve been in the business of making Christmas cookies for Santa for many, many years.
I have collected several Christmas cookie recipes over the years.
And, even though I have college kids and teenagers, we still fuel Santa and his helpers on his biggest night of the year, Christmas Eve.
It’s part of our family tradition.
Holiday Treats for Everyone
Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, the spirit of the holidays is undeniable.
If you plan on celebrating the holiday season in any way, consider the following cookie recipes to share with your “helpers” this holiday season.
They are great to take to holiday parties and perfect if you need Christmas cookie exchange recipes.
The following recipes are dietitian-approved.
I’ve asked my dietitian colleagues to offer up some of their healthiest, decadent, tastiest options for this post.
As usual, they’ve hit it out of the atmosphere!
Santa and any company you may entertain over the holiday season will be very pleased to have any of these cookies on their plate!
15 Dietitian-Approved Christmas Cookie Recipes
Vegan Cowboy Cookies from Sharon Palmer, The Plant-Powered Dietitian
You could call Santa a cowboy…traversing the world in one night. What would be better for a “cowboy” than a cowboy cookie? A vegan one, to boot!
Easy Gingerbread Cookies from Tawnie at Kroll’s Korner
Gingerbread cookies go hand-in-hand with the holidays. But, these little gems are stamped, which makes them all the more adorable.
Add these super-easy to make gingerbread cookies to your regular Christmas cookie routine.
Flourless Nut Butter Cookies from Shannon at Lone Star Nutrition
These hearty cookies include both peanut and almond butter blended together with molasses.
Yes, I am always interested in a recipe with molasses.
Did you know molasses is a great source of iron?
The fact that this cookie recipe includes only 5 ingredients (you know how much I love a short list of ingredients!) is icing on the cookie.
Well, not really, because this little cookie has an optional chocolate frosting, too!
Pepparkakor (Sweedish Ginger Snaps) from Halas Nutrition
Swedish Gingersnaps, called “pepparkakor” in Swedish are a classic Swedish Christmas cookie. They are thin, crispy, and spicy.
And hard not to love.
Lightened Up Seven Layer Bars from Liz’s Healthy Table
The latest makeover from The Meal Makeover Moms are sticky, gooey, over-the-top decadent Seven Layer Bars.
The bottom layer of her bars calls for—hold your breath– chickpeas (AKA garbanzo beans), a nutritious ingredient that they sometimes use as a fat replacer in desserts.
Maybe you tell your family about the beans? Maybe not?
Thumb-Print Cookies from Sally at Real Mom Nutrition
Sally shares her mom’s recipe for Thumbprint cookies, which also happens to be her husband’s favorite cookie.
They are as cute as a button…or thumbprint!
Frozen Yogurt Bark from Lauren at Bite of Health Nutrition
Pretty as a picture, this bark.
Filled with nuts and dried fruit, and nestled into vanilla Greek yogurt…and frozen.
[Related: How to Choose the Best Kids Yogurt]
Lauren cleverly added pistachios (green) and dried cranberries for a festive twist.
Give these a try—even on a non-holiday event! This is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth!
Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies from Kara, The Foodie Dietitian
You can always count on Kara for clever combinations and use of inspiring ingredients.
These vegan peanut butter chocolate chunk oatmeal cookies are gluten-free, free of refined sugar, and the perfect treat for your loved one (or yourself!).
No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars from The Nutritionist Reviews
If baking turns you off, then these are the cookies (really, more like fudge than cookie) for you!
No-bake means you don’t have to turn on the oven at all.
Just mix the ingredients together, let them set in the refrigerator, and slice them up. How easy is that?
Spicy Ginger Cookies from Chelsey at C it Nutritionally
Warm, sweet and spicy, soft and chewy. These spicy ginger cookies are exactly what Santa and his helpers need.
Cranberry Almond Biscotti from Dixya at Food Pleasure Health
A double-baked cookie flavored with almonds and cranberries.
A perfect accompaniment to coffee or tea, or used for a cookie swap.
Healthier Chocolate Holiday Treats from Liz at Better is the New Perfect
Make these better-for-you treats as holiday gifts and to snack on at home.
Dipped in chocolate is always an enticement, but to make calories “count,” even goodie calories, Liz has added dried fruits, such as apricots and raisins, which are nutritional powerhouses providing natural sweetness, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
Who says holiday treats can’t add to your health, too?
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Haystacks from Ann & Lesley at My Menu Pal
This is your go-to holiday season recipe — super fast, super easy, and actually, not so bad for you!
The combination of dark chocolate and peppermint is so yummy, I don’t think you can wrong.
This recipe is perfect for a hostess gift, teacher gift, kid’s holiday party, gift swap, or just a nice treat to make with your kids.
Grinch Party Poppers from Jessica at Good Food for Kids
Not a cookie, I know, but a fun, kid-friendly treat that Santa might appreciate, too.
White Chocolate-Coated Christmas Candy from Yours Truly
I’ve been making this holiday treat for years, and I recently made it public just a couple of years ago.
After many, many requests (I was stubbornly keeping it under wraps), I let it go to the universe.
I probably make 5 or 6 batches of this each year and send it off to teachers, friends, and family helpers. I always have it on hand.
And, no, it’s not Puppy Chow.
What is your favorite Christmas cookie recipe to make? What’s your favorite cookie to leave for Santa and his helpers?
Written by: Jill Castle, MS, RDN
Published on: November 14, 2019
Updated on: November 14, 2019